State records are known to be available to the general public, but are typically harder to obtain than citizens would like it to be. State representatives Mike Duffey and Christina Hagan have helped pass a law known as DataOhio Initiative, allowing local governments to digitize their records and make them available online, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
"There is so much information out there available for researchers, higher education, citizens and newspapers," Duffey told the Dispatch. "Why do we have to make it so difficult?"
Businesses throughout Ohio can benefit from this change because they will be able to be able to access information that they might have been unaware of in the past. This way, people will spend less time calling local offices mentioning frequently asked questions and can increase work productivity.
Transitioning from filing cabinets to live website servers will require a thorough scanning service. Because the DataOhio Initiative may be a large overhaul for some parts of Ohio, the action is optional. Cities and towns that are willing to make the switch will receive a $10,000 grant from the DataOhio Initiative.
With the collaboration of IBM, local communities will be able to have applications memos and legislation available online by June 1, 2014, according to Stow Sentry.
Soon after the DataOhio Initiative was introduced in April, city council members in Stow, Ohio decided to vote in favor of changing their records management. Individuals that work at city hall will receive an electronic device to streamline their electronic data processes. Despite having the accessory linked to their individual account, it cannot leave city hall.
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